This has concluded after a long consultation and years of discussion in the centre. We would like to thank all the people who participated and all those who worked hard over the years, and those still working, to make our space and our collective amazing!
UVSS Women’s Centre Name Change Consultation Survey
What is the name change consultation?
The UVSS Women’s Centre is considering changing its name to better reflect recently amended policies that have diversified our membership in regard to sex and/or gender. An in-depth survey is being conducted to determine the course of this process. We are conducting a confidential survey that is available in multiple formats, including paper (12 point font), paper (18 point font), and an online version as well.
After the data from the survey process has been compiled it will be brought to the UVSS Women’s Centre’s Spring General Meeting for discussion on how to proceed.
Is your organization still called the UVSS Women’s Centre?
Yes, we are still called the UVSS Women’s Centre. We do not currently have another name in mind. If consultation warrants a name change then we will move forward with that process, which may involve a referendum for all undergraduate students to vote on this matter.
Why is a name change being considered?
Recently the Women’s Centre’s policies changed from serving “self identified women” to “self identified women, non binary, and fluid gender people”. The collective now questions if the name “Women’s Centre” best reflects the population we serve.
Would a name change affect the Centre’s policies or programming?
No. The purpose of the name change is to reflect current policies. As far as programming is concerned, our programming is driven by our membership and changes relative to the input of the collective.
What are non-binary and gender fluid people?
Non- binary is an umbrella term used to identify those who choose not to identify as either man or woman. Gender fluid is an umbrella term for those whose gender identity fluctuates.
Will the new policies open the space up for use by men?
Our new policies still restrict use of the centre to self-identified women, non-binary, and gender-fluid people. However, we have a library that is open to everyone regardless of gender or sex. We are also happy to provide service referrals to anybody regardless of gender or sex. For men who want a men-only space to discuss gender and sexuality, we recommend the Anti Violence Project’s Men’s Circle.
Why do you use “self identity” to regulate who is in the space? Couldn’t anybody self identify as anything?
The Women’s Centre has a long standing policy of trusting our members to determine if it is appropriate for them to use the space or not. In other words, we don’t actively police the space or kick people out of the space. While we recognize that this policy could be abused we have found it to cause far more good than harm. Our goal is to provide a safe space for those heavily impacted by gender and/or sex inequality, while also respecting the diversity of gender and/or sex identity and the variations of expression thereof. We further recognize that gender and/or sex are further complicated by an individual’s other identity and/or expressive forms that may further jeopardize them (race, religion, ethnicity), or their ability to identify/express their gender and/or sex.
Will the centre still address the particular needs of women on campus?
Absolutely. Regardless of our name we will continue to provide services for all women on campus. Some of our services include safer sex supplies, free tampons and pads, pregnancy tests, referral to community resources, advocacy for women’s rights on campus, continuing engagement in intersectional feminist discourse, and a safer space for women on campus in our lounge.
As of our recent policy change we also provide services to other people who are marginalized on the basis of gender.
Why was the policy changed?
For years we have repeatedly received feedback that many people did not feel confortable accessing our resources because of our policy of only serving “self identified women”. This included many people who identified as women or had female bodies. This prompted a multi-year review of our policies including a thorough consultation. We concluded that it was necessary to change our policies to serve a wider population across gender and/or sex. The centre has received positive feedback and increased membership as a result of our policy change.
I have more questions…how do I get in touch with the Women’s Centre?
We love feedback and would be interested in hearing from you. We are a collective organization and therefore shaped by the community, so please feel free to contact us.
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us in person in the Students Union Building B107. We look forward to hearing from you.
I have a suggestion for a name! How can I get involved?
Consider filling out our survey, come to one of our collective meetings, or getting in touch with the Women’s Centre Coordinator to find a way that works for you. You can find more information about the centre at womencentreuvic.com.
How will the survey be used?
All your answers will be held in strict confidentiality and used as a tool for guidance in the process of how our centre is evolving to meet the needs of students and the community at large.
Where to drop off your survey?
Surveys can be dropped off at the Women’s Centre mail slot in the UVSS General Office, located in the Student Union Building, or mailed to
P.O. Box 3035
Is the survey available online?
Yes, it is available online here.
Still more questions? Ask us here: